(ADOT)

 

There were 308 traffic crashes on State Route 347 in 2019, according to data from the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Those resulted in 143 injuries and four deaths. The incidents occurred the length of the highway, from Interstate 10 to SR 84, including through the City of Maricopa.

The most common type of collision involved vehicles rear-ending slower or stopped vehicles. That happened 196 times last year. Another 40 were vehicles sideswiping others.

Of the collisions, 26 were determined to be hit-and-run incidents. Thirteen involved alcohol, and three involved drug use.

According to the ADOT data, 27 incidents were single-vehicle crashes. In 22 cases, a collision occurred as one vehicle was trying to turn left against traffic. Only one crash was listed as a head-on.

CAUSES

Officers determined there was no driver-distraction involved in 70% of the crashes. Of the other 90 crashes, it was unknown if the driver was distracted in 41 cases. Drivers were distracted by operating electronic devices or mobile phones in 16 incidents. Another 11 were distracting by eating or drinking in the vehicle.

In two of the four fatal crashes, driver distraction was not considered a contributing factor. In the other two, that element was unknown.

The data show only 16 crashes involved speed. In two cases, the vehicle was traveling 25 miles over the posted limit. One driver was traveling 15 mph too fast. In five cases, the vehicle was estimated to be traveling 10 mph over the limit, and in eight cases, the involved vehicle was just 5 mph over the limit.

A dozen of the crashes were rollovers, including one of the fatal wrecks. Five people ran off the road and into a fence, two ran into a guardrail, and two others ran into parked vehicles.

LOCATIONS

Of the 308 crashes on SR 347 last year, 57 occurred in the vicinity of milepost 185, which is near the Riggs Road intersection. Twenty-five of the crashes occurred around milepost 178, near Casa Blanca Road. There were also 22 crashes at milepost 182, south of Gravel Pit Road, where a crossing carries traffic over the Gila River.

In the city limits on SR 347, the intersection of John Wayne Parkway and Cobblestone Farms Drive had the most reported crashes with 12. There were 11 crashes at the Edison Road intersection, according to ADOT.

One of the Cobblestone Farms crashes involved both alcohol and drugs.

TIMING

January was the worst month for accidents on SR 347, totaling 34 crashes, or 11%. There were 32 wrecks in August and 31 in December. By contrast, July had only 11.

Nearly 21% of all accidents occurred on a Tuesday. Thursdays were nearly as bad with 19% of crashes.

As has been common the past several years, most collisions occurred during “rush hour.” Nearly 23% occurred between 5 and 8 a.m. and 24% between 3 and 6 p.m.